Now, this is an experience I am excited to tell you about. I was driving through downtown Lincoln, Nebraska, and spotted a sign for Crescent Moon coffee shop. Parked the van and followed the arrows. The sun was beginning to set, it was 5:30 p.m. and I needed a caffeine boost! To my surprise, the coffee shop was located down the stairwell. This was my first “basement” cafe!
I opened the door at the bottom of the stairs and walked into the coffee shop. The aesthetic was definitely one of my personal favorites. Crescent Moon is extremely industrial, with cement floors, preserved raw brick, massive exposed wooden beams, cozy lighting, and tons of seating. I really wish I could physically take you there through this article, you would love it. It’s unlike the majority of shops I have interviewed; underground, not a single window, tons of hanging artwork, and soft folk music playing in the background.
There were easily over 25 people enjoying the shop with me. The subtle hum of fingers typing on a keyboard, people lounging on chairs and couches, studying textbooks, or quietly catching up with friends. This place was so deceivingly large, it’s hard to show in the photos. But it has an entire additional side where I discovered another 15 chairs and desks. I really loved the rawness, yet intentionality of this coffeeshop build.
I was heading up to the counter to meet the barista when suddenly a lady came out from a room that appeared to be an office. I politely stopped to ask them if they were the owner and to my surprise they were! They said they were about to head out for the day but if I wanted to ask them more questions, she and her family would be relaxing at a bar down the street in an hour. I said “Perfect, I would love to!”
While I was there I ordered a cup of their Sumatra dark roast coffee and WOW it was good! My mug was full of rich dark chocolate and smokey notes. The roaster they use is “The Coffee Roaster” which happens to be a local roastery out of Lincoln, NE. If you’d like to try this coffee or a different roast, here is the link to buy online.
Crescent Moon offers tons of great food options! They have a bunch of freshly baked pastries to choose from: scones, muffins, sweet rolls, and cookies. And homemade soup that will warm you right up on a cold Nebraskan winter’s day. Two of their most popular items are crepes and paninis! With over half a dozen food options for each, you can’t go wrong. As I’m writing this, I wish I would’ve ordered a cinnamon sugar crepe! Be sure to check their hours to see when the crepes and paninis are available.
Meeting the Family
I walked to the bar down the street and met up with the Crescent Moon family! I met the owner, Amanda, and her mom Melinda. I also had the pleasure of meeting Cole, Mark, and Amanda’s grandmother Darlene. They treated me to a beer after hearing about all the coffee I had consumed that day. I learned that Crescent Moon began in 2001, and this building with the bar was actually their first location. Amanda owns the coffee shop and Melinda (her Mom) runs the payroll books. They stumbled upon the underground location years ago; it used to be an old architecture firm full of drafting tables, no plumbing, and no coffee bar. It had been sitting empty for 5 years, but the minute they saw it, the family had a vision of the successful coffee shop it would become. I’m happy to report what a good job they have done. We learned about each other’s lives for almost two hours, telling stories of coffee, biking, and traveling. They were very nice people and we quickly became friends. I cherish moments like this, feeling as if I truly learned about the place, and the people, I have temporarily visited.
The following day I visited Crescent Moon for Poetry Night and ended up running into Darlene. She was one of the sweetest women I met in Lincoln and was very excited about my coffee blog. She hugged me goodbye when I was leaving and wished me safe travels. If you see her or anyone in the family, be sure to tell them Spencer says hello.
The Crescent Moon Insider Scoop!
Monday’s – Poetry Night
Wednesday’s – Touring Bands
Thursday’s – Music Open Mic
Friday’s – Solo Musician
Saturday’s – Larger Bands
(Likely altered due to COVID-19)
Considering there were two bathrooms, shared between a coffee shop, tattoo parlor, and an escape room all on the same floor, they were very clean and well maintained. Fully stocked with toilet paper, spotless floors, and large enough to hold a dance party. I am going to rank this an 8/10.